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A Guide to Making your World Last in Hardcore Minecraft
Nicholas Ficara /  Sat, 21 May 2022

Minecraft hardcore is a fun challenge for most. Some people will play until they defeat the ender dragon (and arguably beat the game), while others will stick around to grab their loot. There are, however, a select few that will elect to stick with their worlds for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of hours. If you want the best chances of keeping your hardcore world for as long as possible, then this guide is for you. These are my personal tips to live by that I have learned in my thousands of hours in the game and 300+ hours playing hardcore.

Early game:

Early game is defined as the time before a totem farm or large source of totems has been established, as well as the time before full netherite armor and mending elytra has been acquired. These two goals should be completed before this guide becomes useful. Before these two goals, you are the most at risk. However, these goals should not take long to complete (that is, a reset at this stage will only be a minor inconvenience).

The main way to stay alive in the early state is to avoid large caves and ravines. This is by far the most common death during this vulnerable period. Read on for a detailed description of the most common hardcore deaths in the end-game.

Note: This guide is for 1.17 and below, though it should apply to most subsequent versions.

General rules:

  • Never EVER take off your armor or totem. Even if it’s to get mending on a specific item, or to place blocks faster, etc. Doesn’t matter. Keep the armor and totem on at all times.
  • Caves and ravines: avoid. If you must enter one, keep your head on a swivel and do not forget to look up. Keep a totem in your off hand, not your shield. A totem is strictly better.
  • Pause the damn game. Unless you’re playing multiplayer (why?), you can pause your game. That leaves you plenty of time to think about your next move if you need it. I have my escape key bound to the caps lock key so that my pinky doesn’t need to travel very far to reach it. It’s almost instant.

End-Game death:

Here are the most common endgame death causes and why they happen:

  • Void
    • The void can kill even the most experienced players. The main reason why it’s so deadly is that it voids totems and armor.
    • Kills in 2.5 seconds without notch apples or golden apples.
    • Leaves very little options for escape
  • TNT
    • Only one piece is harmless, but poor planning and multiple TNT can easily kill even the most kitted out player. Multiple TNT can easily kill players because it can blow through your totems and armor quite easily.
  • Unnatural mob encounters
    • Normal mobs are harmless in the endgame. However, if you end up in a situation where there is an unnatural amount of mobs (like spawn proofing that last cave room) it can easily break through a totem and your armor.
    • Due to the nature of these encounters, they are hard to escape and therefore very deadly.
  • AFK death
    • This is the most unfortunate one. It’s often caused by an oversight in a farm design or a poorly spawn proofed base.


  • Void
    • One rule is enough to prevent this: No entering the end without checking your elytra. It must be equipped and have sufficient durability for your trip.
    • It is much better to keep the elytra in the end. You won’t die of endermen even if they swarm you. The elytra can easily get you out and you have totems. Keep the damn thing on your chest slot at all times.
    • This will overlap with another point I have here, but AFK + Void is not a good combo. If you AFK mine obsidian or AFK at a wither based obby farm, it’s going to be a bad time.
  • TNT
    • One rule is enough here as well: Don’t get comfortable. Double and triple check your TNT duper designs, don’t rush anything. Think about the amount of TNT that will explode and the ricochet of that TNT. Also think about the TNT becoming an entity with no collision box. How will that affect you? These are important things to check before pulling the lever or pressing the button.
  • Unnatural mob encounters
    • Spawn proof carefully and always have an escape plan.
    • If you find yourself stuck in a mob farm, always remember you have an elytra. It can get you out of almost anything. Don’t be afraid to crank your elytra in a tight space. If you have feather falling III, you shouldn’t take that much damage and a totem can save you in the worst case.
  • AFK death
    • The main thing is to double check your AFK spot and make sure that everything is spawn proofed. You would be surprised with the amount of ways you can die while AFK. The main things you need to check are movement, spawns and hunger. If you are free to move while AFK, this is a risk. If the farm you are using requires it, then double check your AFK system.
    • Thorns can help if all else fails. I keep thorns III on all my armor for the best chance at survival if I miss something. The durability that the armor takes is negligible.
    • Regeneration and Resistance beacons can help a lot here as well.
  • Misc
    • Instant damage potions are not to be brewed. It’s that simple. No reason to. They are a recipe for disaster.
    • Don’t make unnecessary explosions. No crossbows with explosives and no beds in the nether.
    • Don’t dig straight up or down. Duh. In the endgame it’s actually probably more dangerous to dig up then down because of gravity blocks or fast moving lava.
    • Don’t craft end crystals unless you need them to respawn the drag. Just don’t. Don’t use them for PvE, don’t use them for decoration, just don’t.
    • If you are fighting the wither, always have a form of quick regeneration on you. Golden apples, Notch apples, or regen pots are a must. If you have the wither effect and you are low, there is nothing you can do except get regeneration either via food or pots. Make sure you’re prepared!
    • Be very careful around totem farms, and plan a solid escape plan for vexes. You need a quick way to open space to fight a vex, though ideally you should never really be fighting it.

Farm progression:

  • Villager farm is the first one that I like to set up. It’s easy to build, and can go a long way in terms of enchantments, ender pearls and bookshelves.
  • As I already stated, you need a totem farm. It’s insanely easy to build, and as long as you are careful with it and kill the raiders before they can build up, it’s safe.
  • Next is an XP farm. Endermen farms are good, but again, dangerous because you need to build the farm in the end. Another great option is a gold farm. If built correctly, it can provide massive amounts of XPs and gold which is really useful to trade with. Circling back to the main idea of survival, having an abundance of XP will allow you to repair your gear without thinking about it, increasing the chances you have fully repaired gear when you need it most.
  • Once you are on the nether roof, a hoglin farm is very useful. Food is not that much of an issue in Minecraft, but in hardcore, it’s best to be on the optimal food source. Although golden carrots are technically better for saturation, I find pork chops to outweigh that benefit. The farm is also way too easy to build, so take advantage while you can.
  • Iron farms are next. Iron can be used for so much in the game. Some consider it the most important resource.
  • After this, you have a good base for any other farm you want to build. An automatic tree farm might be useful, but be careful with the TNT duplicator.

Personal rules:

These are the rules I use for my hardcore worlds:

  • No sand dupes
  • No carpet dupes
  • TNT duping is allowed
  • No restoring backups unless the original is corrupted (why are you playing hardcore if you’re restoring backups)
  • Fall damage cancelation through save/rejoin is allowed
  • No all item dupes

There is an argument to be made for and against each of them for sure, but I personally find these to be the most enjoyable.

Endgame goals:

It gets boring after a while, especially after reading this guide and being so safe. *insert suffering from success template here*

  • All achievements
    • Consider getting “How did we get here?”
  • All beacons (except netherite unless you are ready to spend ~150 hours)
  • Maxed out armor (this should be something you already have)
    • I personally use protection IV on all my gear, but some swap one out for blast. Some will even start their worlds on the pre-1.14 snapshot where you can stack the armor with all types of protection and then update their worlds. I wouldn’t recommend this due to the new terrain gen, but it’s up to you.
  • All blocks in the game (check out the speedrun for this, it’s wild)
  • Ender dragon farm (yeah it’s possible)